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Falk Names John Dejung Director of Public Safety Communications

For more information contact:

Joshua Wescott, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 3/19/2009

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive

Veteran Director of Award-Winning Minneapolis 911 Center Brings Wealth of Experience to Dane County

Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk announced today the hiring of John Dejung as director of the Dane County Public Safety Communications Center. 

Dejung has worked the past 12 years as 911/311 Director for the City of Minneapolis.  The Minneapolis 911 Center was awarded the 911 Call Center of the Year for 2008 by the 911 Institute for its handling and emergency response coordination of the 2007 Minneapolis I-35 bridge collapse.

Dejung oversaw millions of dollars in technical upgrades to the Minneapolis 911 Center including the 2006-07 replacement of that center’s computer aided dispatch system.  He has served as President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Emergency Number Association (NENA) and was two-year chair of a 911 national industry group called the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO).  Dejung has also served as chair of the Minnesota Metropolitan 911 Board Technical Operations Committee. 

“His extensive experience overseeing important 911 technical upgrades and working with public safety agencies and oversight groups make him the perfect director to see our center through the important enhancements that are both underway and still to come,” Falk said.  “John has the right experience, the right credentials, and a can-do attitude that will serve our center well.”

A recently completed independent audit of the Dane County 911 Center by Matrix Consulting found the Center is “operating at a high level of effectiveness and efficiency.”  The auditors also recognized “the focus on providing high quality service and the constant efforts to innovate and maintain the PSCC (Public Safety Communications Center) at the forefront of emergency communication.”  According to the most recent call data statistics presented to the Center Board on March 18, the Center is answering 911 calls on average in less than one ring.

“Our highly trained team of 911 Center professionals handles over 640,000 calls a year. From teaching CCR (cardio-cerebral resuscitation) over the phone to friends and family of heart attack victims to helping nervous fathers deliver very premature babies in cars along the side of the road on bitter cold mornings, our dispatchers are true first responders,” Falk said.

Dejung was ranked highest among finalists interviewed by the Dane County Public Safety Communications Center Board.  The Board interviewed ten finalists and submitted its top three candidates to Falk on March 10th and the Executive interviewed each of the three.  Dane County retained a national search firm (The Mercer Group, Inc) to recruit and screen candidates for the director’s position.  This week’s announcement follows the hiring timeline the county laid out when it retained Mercer’s services.

In addition to his 911 work, Dejung has 18 years experience as a Coast Guard officer in which he was commander of three ships and senior operations duty officer for the southern California/Baja Mexico Coast Guard operations center.  He was also Coast Guard staff chief for a 22-state region where he oversaw 425 staff and 19 Coast Guard cutters.

Dejung earned his Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison on December 23, 1988.  He is married to Janet Dejung, also from Stanley, Wisconsin where John was raised.  They have three children; Joshua and Jeremy in college and Jessica in high school.

Dejung’s first official day as Dane County Public Safety Communications Director will be June first.  His starting salary will be $120,000.

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